Disclaimer: Harry Potter isn't mine.
A/N: So I mentioned forever ago that I was in the process of writing a new story, so here's the first chapter (finally)!
Harry boarded the train and started looking for an empty compartment. His twin brother was still on the platform, saying goodbye to their parents and trying to find his girlfriend, Hermione Granger.
"Malfoy. Fancy seeing you here."
"Fancy seeing you here as well. Excited for our sixth year?"
Harry snorted. "I'm simply delighted. Excited for me to crush you on the Quidditch pitch?"
"Excited to see you lose," Draco replied. "Where's your double?"
"Still on the platform, either with our parents or looking for his know-it-all girlfriend." Harry thanked Merlin that he and his brother weren't actually duplicates of each other. The only similarities were their height and perfect eyesight. Harry had black hair that sat neatly on top of his head and their mother's green eyes. His brother, Chris, had messy auburn hair and their father's hazel eyes.
Draco wrinkled his nose. "He's still with the mud-Muggleborn?" Draco finished, correcting himself at the last moment.
Harry nodded. "She's a pain in the arse. She was over at our place at least three times a week this summer. And of course, our parents adore her."
"They would. After all, James Potter was probably the first Potter to marry a Muggleborn."
"Sirius would be pissed if I even thought about doing that."
"Well that's because you're the heir to two of the most important magical families in Britain," Draco said in a low voice. "Things like that matter."
Sirius Black, Harry's godfather, had married one of his girlfriends from his Hogwarts days, Marlene McKinnon three years before. But after three years of trying, a Healer discovered that the Lady Black wasn't able to have children. Therefore, Harry had been named heir to the Noble and Ancient House of Black in a very quiet ceremony in the bowels of Gringotts. Draco knew was because his mother, Narcissa, was a Black by birth. Her husband, Lucius, was unaware of what was happening under his own nose. Not even Harry's parents knew.
"Got anyone in mind?" Draco said in a louder, more suggestive voice.
"Malfoy, stop being such a pig!" Hermione had arrived, with Chris in tow.
"Harry, don't you remember what Mum and Dad said about talking to Malfoy?" Chris asked with a warning tone.
"I can talk to whoever I like," Harry said. "Now run along little brother and find your own compartment. Take your walking library with you."
Tensions had been running high between Harry and his brother Chris had discovered Harry and Draco's friendship towards the end of the previous school year. Harry had rejected Draco's offer of friendship back in their first year, but had reconsidered his decision after his lessons with Sirius began at the end of his fourth year.
Sirius had taken on what should have been James' responsibility, and had begun teaching everything Harry had to know about being the heir of a Noble and Ancient House. Harry learned how to walk, talk, and act like a lord, so that he would be ready when the time came.
Harry found Draco after the opening feast.
"Can I help you Potter?"
"Actually yes." Taking a deep breath, Harry continued with the words he had memorized. "The Noble and Ancient House of Potter apologizes for any insult or slight to the Noble House of Malfoy from five years ago to now. Please accept my heartfelt apologies. Now I would like to formally introduce myself. I am Harold James Potter, son of Lord James Chris Potter and heir to the Noble and Ancient House of Potter." He then stuck out his hand and hoped Draco would take it.
And he did "I am Draco Scorpius Malfoy, son of Lucius Abraxas Malfoy and heir to the Noble House of Malfoy. You are forgiven."
Harry and Draco had started out slowly as acquaintances, but they were now on their way to being friends for a very long time.
Chris frowned, and said, "I'm not the one talking to a bloody Slytherin. And don't you dare talk about Hermione like that, she does better in school than you ever will."
"She has no practical knowledge at all," Harry countered. "And you should ask her about her marks on her O.W.L.'s, because I think we both know who did better."
Hermione hissed, sounding much like Crookshanks, the half-kneazle that she held in her arms.
"Ignore him, Hermione," Chris said. "He's just being a prat, as usual. Let's find a compartment so you can get to the prefects' meeting on time."
"Thank Merlin I'm not a prefect," Draco said once the pair was gone. "Could you imagine having to put up with her in a meeting once a week in addition to classes? That would be a nightmare."
A few moments later, the whistle sounded and the train began moving. Draco soon bade goodbye to Harry and continued down the train to find his housemates. Harry took advantage of his empty compartment to change into his school uniform, and then settled down with a book.
A half-hour or so later, there was a light knock on the door and Ginny Weasley slipped into the compartment.
The first think Harry noticed was the cage in her hand, which held a small barn owl. He also noticed the silver badge on the front of her robes, but that was old news.
"I see that you've finally gotten your own owl," Harry commented.
"His name's Ptolemy," Ginny confirmed. "My parents got him for me as a present for being made prefect. I'm so glad that I won't have to share Errol with Ron and the twins anymore."
Ron Weasley was one of Chris's best friends. Fred and George Weasley were Hogwarts' resident pranksters, although they would be graduating at the end of the year.
"Where's your trunk?" Harry asked Ginny once she had put Ptolemy's cage and her school bag on the rack above her seat and settled down.
"In the other compartment with Ron. I got sick of him trying to snog Lavender and your brother getting cozy with Hermione, so I decided to find you. Where are your friends?"
It was no secret that Harry was on the popular end of the Hogwarts' social spectrum. He had friends in every house and almost every year, and he was also one of the best seekers in Hogwarts history.
"I saw Draco earlier, and then he went to find his housemates, so they're probably with him now. Dean's probably on patrol now, since he's a prefect." Ginny nodded in confirmation. "And Seamus is probably off somewhere flirting. I'll probably find them later. Sometimes a quieter train ride is better."
"I know what you mean," Ginny said.
They each settled back with their own reading, Harry with a copy of Transfiguration Today, and Ginny with her secondhand Charms textbook. Then it was time for Ginny to patrol the train, so she got up and left.
She still wasn't back by the time the snack trolley rolled around, so Harry took the liberty of buying plenty of treats for the two of them, as well as a chilled pumpkin juice for himself.
Ginny returned not long after that, and Luna Lovegood was with her.
"Harry, you shouldn't have. You know that my mum always mum packs me sandwiches."
"It's not all for you," Harry said with a laugh. "We're sharing. Luna, you're welcome to help yourself as well. How was your summer?"
"Good," Luna said in her usual dreamy voice before gracefully sitting down and helping herself to a licorice wand. "Thank you for asking, Harry."
Harry was just thankful for the relatively peaceful train ride that ensued. When they arrived at Hogwarts, the new first years followed Hagrid to the boats, while the older students made their way over to the horseless carriages that would take them to the castle.
Harry found himself in a carriage with his brother, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville, and Lavender.
"How was your summer, Neville?" Harry asked. He hadn't seen the other boy on the train.
"It was great. My Uncle Algie helped me set up my own greenhouse at the manor and I started growing a few of my favorites. He mentioned that he might take even me on a trip to South America next year to take a look at even rarer plants. What about you?"
"That sounds awesome. I just did my summer homework and did some flying. Well, a lot of flying actually. Sirius hired a coach for the summer as an early birthday present, so hopefully I've gotten a lot better."
"Who was it?" Ron asked. It was no secret that he was a Quidditch fanatic, despite not being able to make it onto the Gryffindor team.
Harry rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment. "Well, Oliver Wood worked with me most of the time, but when he couldn't make it, Aidan Lynch stepped in a few times."
"Aidan Lynch? As in one of the best seekers in the world? He almost beat Viktor bloody Krum to the snitch at the World Cup two years ago!"
"It was mostly Oliver," Harry said to keep Ron from getting too excited. "You know how he is."
"Insane," Neville supplied.
"Pretty much. We worked ten hours or so a week, and then he gave me exercises to do on my own. I had forgotten how scary he is when he wants to be."
Oliver had been Harry's captain for Gryffindor for three years, and had been the one to originally spot Harry during a flying lesson when Harry had been a first year. It had taken a lot of convincing for McGonagall, Dumbledore, and Lily Potter to allow him to play, but Oliver got his way just in time for the first match of the year.
Of course, Chris hadn't been happy. James tried to get him a spot on the team as well, but McGonagall and Oliver wouldn't have it. Chris finally won his spot fair and square in the fall of their fourth year.
The carriages eventually reached the castle, and the students trudged inside to the Great Hall, hoping for a quick sorting.
The first years looked smaller and smaller every year, and this year was no different. Gryffindor and Slytherin each received nine new students, while Hufflepuff got five, and Ravenclaw got eight.
Once the sorting was over, everyone dug into the feast that magically appeared on the four house tables. Harry took his time. One of the first things that Sirius had drilled into him when they began his tutoring was table manners. He didn't use the more…questionable and aggressive methods that his mother used on him, but the lessons stuck all the same.
After the feast was over, the prefects rounded up the first years and escorted them to their respective dormitories. Harry and his friends went ahead, not wanting to get caught behind the crush of excited eleven-year-olds.
They made it to the common room in record time and settled down. Common sense dictated that they should go to bed, as classes started the next day, but they preferred to take advantage of the fact that they were older, and stayed up until they were about to pass out.
The next day at breakfast, Professor McGonagall passed out their timetables. Harry's schedule was full to the brim. He was taking Transfiguration, History of Magic, Care of Magical Creatures, Arithmacy, Charms, Potions, Ancient Runes, Astronomy, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and Herbology.
"Why do you get to take ten classes?" Hermione demanded. Clearly, she had looked over his shoulder.
He plucked her schedule out of her hand and looked it over. Transfiguration, History of Magic, Care of Magical Creatures, Potions, Arithmacy, Charms, Ancient Runes, Astronomy, and Herbology.
"Possibly because you didn't get the required grade in Defense Against the Dark Arts, since it' not on your schedule, which means that you received below an 'E'. Since you're so fantastic at taking tests, I'm guessing that this means that you did poorly on the practical. And you were probably dropped from Muggle Studies, since you're Muggleborn, and a Muggleborn taking N.E.W.T. Muggle Studies is both redundant and unfair."
Harry handed her schedule back to her and returned his focus to his toast and eggs.
"Don't talk to her like that!"
"Witty comeback as always, Chris. And besides, it's not like nine N.E.W.T.s is anything to be ashamed of. That's how many Percy got."
Cormac McLaggen, Gryffindor's new Quidditch captain, interrupted Their conversation.
"Hey Harry, I heard that you were training over the summer. Don't tell me that I'm going to lose you to Puddlemere already!"
Harry gave his captain a grin. "Of course not, I'm only sixteen anyway. There's no way that I'd leave you to suffer against Slytherin."
"Best thing is that we have the full roster coming back," Cormac said conspiratorially. "There's no way that anyone will be able to stop us. Since we don't need to hold tryouts, our first practice is going to be next week."
The team members within earshot groaned, and Fred and George threatened to stick a dung bomb somewhere very painful. Sometimes Cormac was as bad as Oliver.
Classes began as usual. Harry found that the only difference between N.E.W.T. classes and regular classes was that the professors were far stricter and gave about twice as much work. McGonagall's class was tough, while Snape's was a nightmare.
"I can't believe he said that," Hermione fumed once they were out of the dungeons. She seemed to have put their tiff behind her so she could rant about their unfair professor. "And half of the questions he asked us weren't even covered in the first half of our book for this year. I'm just lucky I read ahead."
"Which part? The part where he said that I was a duplicate of my father, therefore rendering me useless and incompetent at everything except breathing, or the part where he called us dunderheads for the umpteenth time since our first year?"
"Both. As much as I hate to admit it, you're one of the best brewers in our year."
"Thanks," Harry muttered. "I just wish someone could do something about Snape. I'm sick of him treating me like shit. He doesn't seem to understand that I'm not my father."
Hermione sighed, clearly thinking that Harry wasn't getting it. "I doubt that you'll be able to magically find some solution. Besides, we only have two years left here, and he is actually quite brilliant—"
"—and a rubbish teacher," Harry said, cutting her off. "I'm not going to fail my N.E.W.T. simply because some bitter man hates my father and my father's friends. I'll see you later."
Harry walked away, heading towards the library, where he had agreed to meet Draco.
"Yes, I know, my godfather was being a bastard," Draco said in a low voice as Harry sat down at the table. After all, they didn't want Madam Pince to kick them out of the library.
"As usual," Harry added as he took out his books, parchment, quills. It was only the third day, but they already had a mountain of work.
Draco snorted. "It's a wonder you didn't end up in Slytherin."
"Thanks, I think."
The truth was that the Sorting Hat had almost placed him in Slytherin. Something about him yearning to prove himself. Well, he didn't need to be in the house of the ambitious to do that.
"How's your family?" Harry asked, mostly out of politeness.
"Can we not talk that small talk shit?" Draco asked. "I had enough of that at my birthday. I had a twenty-minute conversation with Mrs. Parkinson about the lovely weather."
Harry snorted. "At least Pansy's not as bad as her mother."
"True," Draco said. "Pansy's just…clingy. I'm just glad that we figured out a long time ago that we're definitely not compatible. Could you imagine what a disaster it would be if my parents wanted me marry her?"
"Would have been terrible."
"Say," here Draco lowered his voice even further, "when does Sirius plan on introducing you to the you-know-what as his you-know-what? My mother and father are thinking of presenting me just before Yule."
"I don't know," Harry admitted. "Sirius hasn't told me. Whenever he decides to do it, the timing has to be right, since he'll have to tell my dad. I don't want to have to deal with too much political maneuvering before I'm even a lord."
Draco nearly slapped his forehead. "I forgot, your father has to formally announce you as the Potter heir. Your mother can't be there though, right?"
Harry shook his head sadly. "No Muggleborns allowed. That's probably one thing about the Wizengamot that won't ever change. Even though she's the Lady Potter in name and magic, her blood will never be good enough."
"It'll be alright. Your father, Sirius, and Marlene will look after you and keep the wolves away. I'll ask my mother to get my father to coordinate my presentation with yours."
"Thanks," Harry said. He added a few sentences to his Transfiguration essay, and then he asked, "Have you heard about the Nimbus 3000? It's supposed to be better than the Firebolt."
Draco said, "How could I not have. I'd like to try it once it's released."
They settled into a comfortable silence and worked on their homework for over two hours. And then they were interrupted.
"Chris, why the hell is your brother sitting with Malfoy?" Ron, of course.
Harry rolled his eyes at Draco, but continued reading.
"They're friends, remember," Chris replied. "I have no clue why though. Mum and Dad were pissed when they found out."
'Pissed' was putting it lightly. James Potter and Lucius Malfoy didn't get along, so James had forbidden Harry from being friends with Lucius' "snake" of a son.
"Ignore them," Harry heard Hermione say. "We should probably work on that essay Professor McGonagall assigned us on Conjuring Spells."
"Draco, did you finish McGonagall's essay?" Harry asked.
Draco rolled his eyes. "I finished that ages ago. Conjuring Spells aren't that difficult, anyway. And we already did the theory for it at the beginning of last year. McGonagall is probably just taking pity on the poor idiots who still haven't managed to figure it out yet."
It was quiet satisfying to hear Hermione stomping away, followed by Chris and Ron. The trio had been friends since the beginning of first year, when Chris and Ron had saved Hermione after she had tumbled into the lake.
"That was too easy."
The following Saturday, the Gryffindor team held its first practice of the school year, as they had a full returning squad. It was way to early to be awake, but they were all there. Chris, Angelina Johnson, and Alicia Spinnet were the chasers, Fred and George were the beaters, Cormac was the keeper, and Harry was the seeker.
Before the began, Cormac had them huddle up at the center of the pitch.
"Alright team," he said. "We are going to win the Quidditch Cup again this year. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. McGonagall wants that trophy in her office and we're going to give it to her."
"Or she'll have your head on a pike," one of the twins said.
Cormac cringed, but nodded. "Probably," he admitted. "So let's win. We have excellent chasers. Fred and George are unstoppable. There's me, of course. And, let's not forget that we have one of the best seekers in Hogwarts history."
They mounted their brooms and began the grueling practice. They split up by position. The chasers worked on their shooting and formations against Cormac, while the twins worked on bashing bludgers across the field. As for Harry, he had to chase two dozen charmed golf balls all over the field and collect all of them by the end of practice.
By the time they were done, everyone was exhausted and drenched in sweat.
"Good job today, team. No one got to rusty over the summer holidays," Cormac said as he shouldered his broom. "I'll have a set practice schedule by next week."
The team trudged towards the changing room. Fred and George lugged the crate of balls between then, while Harry carried a tin bucket full of the golf balls that he had caught.
Harry showered and changed as quickly as he could, and then grabbed his things and returned to the castle. Luckily, he managed to get to the Great Hall before breakfast ended.
"Where were you?" Hermione asked, looking up from her book.
"Quidditch, of course," Chris said before Harry could respond. He sat down next to Hermione and pecked her on the cheek, causing the bookworm to flush a color that rivaled Ron's hair. "Cormac drove us pretty hard today, but otherwise it went well."
"That's good," she said, before returning to her book.
"What kind of drills did you do?" Ron asked.
"Ron, not everyone wants to see your eggs and toast," Ginny reminded him. Turning to Harry she said, "I hear that Cormac's almost as bad as Oliver Wood."
"You heard right," Harry replied as he helped his plate. He was so hungry. "But in a good way. I'm not that tired, though. Aidan's and Wood's training program really helped."
"That's good," Ginny commented. "Are you going to try for a professional team?"
Harry shrugged. "It depends on a lot of things."
He finished his breakfast and then returned to the Gryffindor Tower to put his Quidditch things away and get a start on his weekend homework.
And then he turned and saw Hedwig waiting on the window ledge, with an envelope in her beak.
Let me know what you think! It's been a while since I've written anything…college is all consuming. I'm halfway through the second chapter, so hopefully it should be up tonight. I at least want to get this started before I head back to school.
A/N - 1/21/2013: So I honestly don't know when I'm going to update this story...Chapter 2 is in the works and almost done, but school (yay college!) is really kicking my butt, and although I love all of you wonderful people here, school is my number one priority. But fear not! I'm not abandoning this story, simply putting it on the shelf until real life becomes a little more manageable.